CHILE: An environmental impact assessment is due to be completed by July for an extension of the Valparaíso suburban service from Limache to La Calera as part of the government’s Chile on Rails programme.

Inaugurated in 2006, the Metro de Valparaíso suburban service runs for 43 km between Puerto, El Bellota and Limache, serving 20 stations. The expansion project would see services extended eastwards along the existing Valparaíso – Santiago main line for a further 26 route-km, adding five stations at an estimated cost of US$450m.


A key element in the scheme is the provision of a third track between San Pedro and La Calera for use by freight trains to and from the Port of Ventanas, eliminating conflicts with the expanded passenger operations.

State railway EFE and its local operating subsidiary Merval awarded a US$7m two-year engineering design contract to a grouping of local firm CDI Consultores de Ingeniería and Consultrans of Spain in May 2019. This covers functional design of the infrastructure enhancements and railway systems along the corridor as well as development of the operational model.


Following the submission of the environmental impact study, detailed design work is expected to continue with the aim of starting construction in 2023. The extension is expected to be commissioned by 2027.

Services are currently operated by a fleet of 27 two-car X’Trapolis EMUs supplied by Alstom, and carry around 20 million passengers/year. The expansion package envisages procurement of another 15 trains, to accommodate an estimated increase in ridership of 12 million passengers/year.

  • · The Consultrans CDI consortium has also been commissioned by EFE’s Fesur subsidiary to develop a master plan for the development of rail services in the Gran Concepción region up to 2040. This is looking at the condition of the infrastructure and the potential demand for both passenger and freight transport.